The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Cuba: El Tiante’s pitch

February 20, 2008

Let me followup Peter’s post on Cuba. Legendary and colorful retired pitcher Luis Tiant had this to say about the Cuban embargo:

“I think it’s crazy,” Tiant said. “Everybody does business with Cuba – Latin America, China, everybody – and what is the difference? We are 90 miles from Cuba. We don’t have a relationship with them. That’s crazy. It makes no sense to me.

“The people have suffered enough. They’ve gone through a hard life. Forty-six years I’ve been out. I hope it changes.”

As for Peter’s question about the choice between domestic politics and the national interest? While neither of the two remaining Democratic candidates for president have called for lifting the economic embargo, it seems pretty clear that Barack Obama’s position is less hawkish.

Indeed, Obama wrote an op-ed about Cuba last summer for a Miami paper suggesting that the US should reduce some restraints on travel and remittances.

Clinton’s response was not promising.

Hillary Clinton continued her recent attacks on his perceived foreign policy naivete, insisting that “until it is clear what type of policies might come with a new [Cuban] government, we cannot talk about changes in the U.S. policies toward Cuba.”

It’s too bad the Democrats didn’t have a real primary in Florida this year so that these issues could have been debated more publicly.

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.